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Do Firms in Countries with Poor Protection of Investor Rights Hold More Cash?

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  • Lee Pinkowitz
  • Rene M. Stulz
  • Rohan Williamson

Abstract

Managers make different decisions in countries with poor protection of investor rights and poor financial development. One possible explanation is that shareholder-wealth maximizing managers face different tradeoffs in such countries (the tradeoff theory). Alternatively, firms in such countries are less likely to be managed for the benefit of shareholders because the poor protection of investor rights makes it easier for management and controlling shareholders to appropriate corporate resources for their own benefit (the agency costs theory). Holdings of liquid assets by firms across countries are consistent with Keynes' transaction and precautionary demand for money theories. Firms in countries with greater GDP per capita hold more cash as predicted. Controlling for economic development, firms in countries with more risk and with poor protection of investor rights hold more cash. The tradeoff theory and the agency costs theory can both explain holdings of liquid assets across countries. However, the fact that a dollar of cash is worth less than $0.65 to the minority shareholders of firms in such countries but worth approximately $1 in countries with good protection of investor rights and high financial development is only consistent with the agency costs theory.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 10188.

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Date of creation: Dec 2003
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10188

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Christopher F. Baum & Atreya Chakraborty & Liyan Han & Boyan Liu, 2009. "The Effects of Uncertainty and Corporate Governance on Firms' Demand for Liquidity," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 726, Boston College Department of Economics.
  2. Schauten, M.B.J. & van Dijk, D.J.C. & van der Waal, J-P., 2008. "Corporate Governance and the Value of Excess Cash Holdings of Large European Firms," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2008-027-F&A, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus Uni.
  3. Nicolas Couderc, 2006. "La détention d'actifs liquides par les entreprises. Quelles explications ?," Revue économique, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 57(3), pages 485-495.
  4. Vélez-Pareja, Ignacio & Magni, Carlo Alberto, 2008. "Potential dividends and actual cash flows. Theoretical and empirical reasons for using ‘actual’ and dismissing ‘potential’, Or: How not to pull potential rabbits out of actual hats," MPRA Paper 7266, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Acharya, Viral V. & Almeida, Heitor & Campello, Murillo, 2007. "Is cash negative debt? A hedging perspective on corporate financial policies," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 515-554, October.
  6. Bates, Thomas W. & Kahle, Kathleen M. & Stulz, Rene M., 2007. "Why Do U.S. Firms Hold So Much More Cash Than They Used To?," Working Paper Series 2006-17, Ohio State University, Charles A. Dice Center for Research in Financial Economics.
  7. Rui Albuquerue & Neng Wang, 2008. "Agency Conflicts, Investment, and Asset Pricing," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 63(1), pages 1-40, 02.
  8. John M. Griffin & Federico Nardari & Rene M. Stulz, 2004. "Stock Market Trading and Market Conditions," NBER Working Papers 10719, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Kuan, Tsung-Han & Li, Chu-Shiu & Chu, Shin-Herng, 2011. "Cash holdings and corporate governance in family-controlled firms," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 64(7), pages 757-764, July.
  10. Breuer, Wolfgang & Rieger, M. Oliver & Soypak, K. Can, 2014. "The behavioral foundations of corporate dividend policy a cross-country analysis," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 247-265.
  11. Ramírez, Andrés & Tadesse, Solomon, 2009. "Corporate cash holdings, uncertainty avoidance, and the multinationality of firms," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 387-403, August.
  12. Guney, Yilmaz & Ozkan, Aydin & Ozkan, Neslihan, 2007. "International evidence on the non-linear impact of leverage on corporate cash holdings," Journal of Multinational Financial Management, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 45-60, February.
  13. Brockman, Paul & Unlu, Emre, 2009. "Dividend policy, creditor rights, and the agency costs of debt," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(2), pages 276-299, May.

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